The temperatures are reaching record highs across the U.S. and the majority of homes are utilizing some variety of air conditioner to battle the seasonal heat. Though we are all appreciative that your air conditioner works, the team at Woody's Sudden Service Inc in Manassas wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.
There’s plenty of science regarding keeping your house at a comfortable temperature. Your air conditioner functions in a parallel way to your refrigerator, however your cooling system has a bigger job to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to the outdoors. This refrigerant easily converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from the indoors and turns back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to your outdoor unit where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.
There are 4 core elements to your AC system: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.
The evaporator coil is the place your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be located indoors, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air moves through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then sent throughout your indoor space.
Your compressor is located in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil enters into the compressor which surges the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then enters back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is pushed outdoors and the refrigerant is changed back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid returns to the indoor evaporator coil by an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.
That concludes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner functions on an relentless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Manassas you can reach us at 703-278-2036. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.